Scrolling news:

Iraq: US seeks verification of ‘Islamic State’ beheading of journalist James Foley

Japan: Torrential rains unleash deadly landslide killing a dozen people in Hiroshima

Palestine: Three Palestinians killed, incl 3 year-old child, in Israeli airstrikes on Gaza City

Palestine: Dozens Palestinians abducted by Israeli forces in West Bank, Jerusalem

Palestine: Israeli army demolishes cave housing family near Bethlehem

Palestine: Several Palestinians kidnapped by Israeli forces in West Bank, Israeli settlers attack cars

Palestine: Israel bombs Gaza, withdraws negotiators from Cairo

Pakistan: 18 suspected militants killed in fresh NWA, Khyber airstrikes

US: Ferguson curfew lifted, Obama appeals for restraint

Iraq: Obama says Mosul Dam retaken from extremists with US help

Palestine: Palestinian female detainee denied family visits since her arrest in 2012

Palestine: Nine Palestinians kidnapped by Israeli soldiers from West Bank, Jerusalem

Palestine: Israeli army detonates two homes in Hebron, seals one with concrete blocs

Palestine: Six Palestinians kidnapped by Israeli forces in West Bank

Syria: Airstrikes kill 31 terrorists in Raqqa city

Palestine: Body recovered in Shujaiyya a month after ‘massacre’ by Israel

Palestine: Hamas says Israel stalling on agreement as Gaza death toll hits 2016

US: Curfew imposed for second night in Ferguson, Missouri

Palestine: Palestinian arrested filming Israeli settlers throwing stones in W Bank

Israel: 5 of 64 Israeli soldiers killed in Gaza invasion were killed by ‘Friendly Fire’

Palestine: Severe flooding forces thousands from Gaza homes

15th Dec 2013

 

More than 4,000 people have been evacuated from flood-damaged homes in northern Gaza in what the United Nations has called “a disaster area,” officials said on Saturday.

Flooding has been so severe that access to many homes is by rowing boat and water is reported to be two meters (more than six feet) high in some places. Many people have been trapped inside inundated homes by rising waters.

The flooding is the result of four days of torrential rains.

“Large swathes of northern Gaza are a disaster area with water as far as the eye can see,” the United Nations Relief Works Agency (UNRWA) that administers refugee camps in the besieged territory, said in a statement.

The Gaza health ministry said 100 people had suffered injuries in the severe weather, which damaged poorly built homes in the coastal territory, including from car accidents on flooded roads, and items falling from inundated buildings.

Chris Gunness, an UNRWA spokesman, said areas near a refugee camp in northern Gaza “have become a massive lake with two-meter-high waters engulfing homes and stranding thousands.”

Thousands of agency workers were evacuating stranded Palestinians to UN shelters, Gunness said.

Gaza’s government said 4,306 in all had been evacuated to schools and other centers used as makeshift shelters in the past four days.

Gaza’s 1.8 million people has also been enduring around 12-hour blackouts daily since the lone power plant was switched off last month since Israel halted fuel imports.

One of the most densely populated tracts on earth, Gaza is home to mostly impoverished refugees and their descendants.

The territory lacks much basic civil infrastructure and lives under an Egyptian-Israeli blockade which curbs imports of fuel, building supplies and basic goods.

Gaza’s prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh, urged the Arab League on Saturday to take steps to end the blockades of his territory, a statement from his office said.

(Reuters, Al-Akhbar)

http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/severe-flooding-forces-thousands-gaza-homes

 

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